Acetabular Fractures in the Elderly: Treatment Recommendations


Acetabular fractures in the elderly population are marked by a high degree of variability in terms of patient and fracture characteristics. Successful outcomes depend on application of highly individualized management principles by experienced teams. Reviewed are indications and outcomes associated with various management options, including closed treatment, open reduction internal fixation, and acute or staged total hip arthroplasty. Proper initial management choices are critical, as early failures and subsequent salvage surgery can be accompanied by significant morbidity. Clinical results after ORIF closely follow the quality of articular reduction and the ability to maintain a congruent reduction of the hip joint. Fracture characteristics predictive of anatomic articular reduction should be treated with ORIF. Fracture characteristics predictive of early post-traumatic arthritis should be treated with simultaneous ORIF and THA. Presented is one referral institution’s treatment algorithm and management approach.

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Correspondence to David L. Helfet MD.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, nor the U.S. Government.

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Pagenkopf, E., Grose, A., Partal, G. et al. Acetabular Fractures in the Elderly: Treatment Recommendations. HSS Jrnl 2, 161–171 (2006).

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Key words

  • acetabulum
  • fracture
  • elderly
  • osteoporosis
  • total hip arthroplasty